Crafting with the GHL: Create Your Own Tunnel Book

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Just because we are all home at this time, we do not have to go without books. We can make our own books!! One of the best books to create is a tunnel book. Let’s try to make one!!

What are Tunnel Books?

Tunnel books are a form of an art book that tells a story through a three-dimensional structure. They consist of a series of panels that are layered behind one another to create a sense of depth and perspective. The concept of the tunnel book dates to the mid-eighteenth century and is still popular today.

Tunnel Book structure example

Create Your Own Tunnel Book

This book creates a small visual environment with overlapping layers. The layers can look different depending on the angle from which they are viewed. Change the size of the viewing hole to give your reader a different experience!

Materials Needed

  1. 6” x 6” chipboard squares or cardboard for back and front cover
  2. 6” x 8” text weight paper for accordions
  3. Collage materials: various colored papers, photographs, magazine clippings, etc.
  4. Colored pencils, markers or paint to help create collage materials (optional)
  5. X-acto knife and or scissors (for cutting collage materials)
  6. Bone folder or plastic knife/popsicle stick (optional)
  7. Glue stick and/or double-sided tape


Step 1: Gather your supplies.

Step 2: Fold an 8-panel accordion from each of the 6” x 8” pieces of paper. You should end up with 2 identical accordions.

Step 3: Start with your 6” x 8” text weight paper and fold it in half. Next, fold both edges of the paper to meet the first fold you made. Fold the strips in half lengthwise; then fold the edges back to the centerfold. Press down to make a crease. This will produce an eight-panel accordion.

Step 4: Open the paper you have folded and bring each fold over to meet the edge of the paper one at a time.

Step 5: Cut out a hole in one of the chipboards covers leaving a 1” border.

Step 6: Decorate the back page if you want.

Step 7: Glue an accordion on each side of the edges of the back page. Make sure that the creases are on the outsides. Glue the accordions between the pieces of chipboard with mountain folds facing out. Glue the front page of your book to the top of the M-shaped accordion strips at either side and let the glue dry.

Step 8: Decorate accordions! Use the accordion tabs on either side of your book to attach collage items. Remember to only put your materials on the backside of the accordions. Attach layers one side at a time from the back to the front. You can use glue or double-sided tape to attach.

Step 9: You just made a tunnel book!

GHL Tunnel Book created

Jennifer Blomberg, Collection Unit Manager